Cong people celebrate Tet Hoa with crossbows

During the tenth month of the Lunar Calendar the Cống ethnic community in Nậm Khè Commune in Điện Biên Phủ Province is busy getting ready for Tết Hoa, the ethnic group’s biggest annual holiday.

The holiday is held after the season’s harvest is completed. Villagers gather at the village elder’s house with offerings to ancestors and local deities.

Offerings include rice cakes and small goods but the most important part is a celosia (also known as cockscomb) flower from local fields.

In Cống people’s belief the flower is a symbol of luck and prosperity. The blooming flowers signal the time for Tết Hoa, a time to worship and reflect on the year’s events. Ceremonies are held to pray for good harvests, health and weather in the year to come.

It’s also a festive time to enjoy outdoor games such as spinning tops, crossbow competitions, singing and dancing.